Profiles of Community Resources and their Influence on Self-Regulation at Preschool : A Focus on Children from Low-Income Families Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mw22v897z

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  • Self-regulation skills lay the foundation for short- and long-term school success, and strengthening these skills in early childhood can have significant implications for immediate and future life outcomes (e.g., Blair & Diamond, 2008; McClelland, Acock, Piccinin, Rhea, & Stallings, 2013). A large body of literature has investigated how characteristics of the individual and family, including demographic risk factors, influence the development of self-regulation (e.g., Li-Grinning, 2007; Wanless, McClelland, Tominey, & Acock, 2011). Few studies, however, have examined whether features in the broader environment, such as community resources, can support children's self-regulation (Evans & English, 2002; Richters & Martinez, 1993; Roy, McCoy, & Raver, 2014; Sharkey, Tirado-Strayer, Papachristos, & Raver, 2012). Moreover, the link between community-level indicators and children’s self-regulation has typically been described from a deficit perspective. The present study adopted a strength-based approach to explore: (1) the unique profiles of community resources available to children from low-income families; (2) if community profile membership predicted self-regulation upon entry to preschool, beyond the effect of demographic risks; and (3) if the association between community profile membership and self-regulation was moderated by English-Language Learner (ELL) status. Results from an exploratory latent profile analysis suggested that subgroups of community resources captured variability in the contexts that low-income children reside in. Specifically, three latent profiles of community resources fit the data best: (1) high affordances; (2) mixed affordances; and (3) low affordances. These profiles were described in further detail. Multi-level random effects models demonstrated that low-income children who were most likely to reside in the mixed affordances community profile, characterized by offering high human capital resources, low structural resources, and high social service resources, displayed significantly lower self-regulation at entry to preschool than low-income children in the low affordances community profile, characterized by offering low human capital resources, low structural resources, and low social service resources, across two outcomes of self-regulation. An interaction effect for ELLs was not observed, which suggests that all children from low-income families can benefit from the same community contexts, regardless of the constellation of their sociodemographic risks.
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